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Old 04-26-2011   #1
antigua, guatemala
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7
Flown Delta with a kayak recently?


I'm flying with a kayak to Central America (from Chicago). Over the years the consensus seems to be that Delta is pretty strict about their no-kayak policy. Anyone tried with them the past few years?


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Old 04-26-2011   #2
hullflyer's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 187
I flew Delta to Santiago, Chile in 2005 and whoa! I had my boat in a Salamander travel bag, and nothing in it. It was pretty light for int'l travel. They called me on it at the counter. I said it was a windsurfer. They called B.S. (which it was) and asked me if it was a kayak. I admitted it was so after further grilling from a supervisor. $200 extra for the kayak and $75 more for my paddle bag! Delta sucks. I ponied up. What other choice did I have. Next time I would fly to B.A. with another carrier.


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Old 04-26-2011   #3
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
I've heard Delta sucks as well. Also heard last night that dogs aren't allowed to fly after May,as well.
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Old 04-26-2011   #4
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
Between all the enhanced pat downs, extra sur charges on every thing but potty use and "friendly" airport staff ------ flying anywhere is not the fun experience it was a few years ago. We used to fly AA to South America with every thing from paddle bags to kayaks taped with cardboard over the open cockpit and no problem. I think it all depends on who you deal with at the check in counter.
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Old 04-26-2011   #5
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster's Avatar
Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 707
Don't plan on the "Depends on who you deal with." that rarely works, even bribes seem not to work. Like "For your trouble could I get you a cup of coffee or a candy bar" Delta tried charging me 300 dollars one way when I was flying to the south east. I would say Frontier or US Airways. United sucks, and Delta if they let you on they charge through the nose. Here is my story just getting to the south east. Dan Keown Whitewater Obsession: Flying with a kayak.
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Old 04-26-2011   #6
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 114
Flying with a boat

I was just talking to Chris Baer about this same thing last week. Here is more good info.

Where is Baer ?: How to travel with a kayak internationally,

I think the main thing kayakers need to learn and accept is traveling with a kayak is horrifically expensive. Trying to save money shouldn't be the plan, getting the boat on the plane is.

$200 each way for an international trip should be expected with a creek boat. Tight time schedules just won't work. You need to be willing to pay, have plenty of time (if you have enough time employees go on breaks, shifts end and new people come the the counter etc)or try to find a boat in country (which I did in Chile and Norway and saved a ton of $$). The e-mail stating they will take the boat is clutch.

Another thing to consider is why you would even bring the boat back home. Sell it in country. You could probably find a buyer before you even leave for the trip.


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